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Bob Dylan 980623 in Sheffield, England

       Sheffield Arena
       Capacity: 12,231 
       Double bill with Van Morrison 
       Showtime: 7:30 PM 
Subject: Re: 23 June 1998, Sheffield, England (complete setlist)
From: Peter Guy (
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 09:29:11 +0100

    The concert was absolutely awesome, Bob was definitely the best I've
seen him (in my limited experience).  So alive and enthusiastic!  And so
basic, just 5 guys playing rock'n'roll!
    For me the first highlight of the set was "Cold Irons Bound", the
arrangement and performance generating a fantastic atmosphere.
    A lovely acoustic set, with tremendous cheers when Bob got out the
harmonica (btw, did he fluff the first couple of lines of the 3rd (?) verse
of Forever Young?).
    The first encore "Lovesick" was a highlight for me too, and the closing
"Blowin' in the Wind" brought tears to many eyes I think.
    A brilliant show, with the Van Morrison set, great value for money, and
tickets still on sale on the night, so you can still get to see them at the
remaining venues......don't miss it!

    Best wishes,

Subject: English concerts From: david lindsey ( Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 16:55:44 +0100 I'm surprised by the comments so far about this week's english shows, maybe a case of 'if you can't bring good news then don't bring any' which seems to infiltrate much of the discussion about Dylan's work. Personally I was very disappointed, not so much by the performances, although many of these were little more than competent, but by the decision to play a six song acoustic set, and then the choice of songs that dictated. Consider Sheffield. Tambourine man, Masters, Times, forever young. Even Mama only survived by virtue of being less common. OK I admit it, I had been hoping for some of the recent performances of the songs from 'time out of mind' which seem to grab the band's attention rather more, but in the end I would have setled for any of the European shows with their variety. The problem is that I don't think Bob's men are really particularly sensitive acoustic players or that the arrangements of those songs gives them much room. Take a look at Larry and Bucky during 'forever young' that boredom I see ? I accept that we have moved on from the occasional shambles and confusion of the early nineites. The band is now tight and organized. They all know what they and the others are doing and that's good, it allows Bob to relax and enjoy playing. But the converse of that is that they can get horribly lazy, and sets are played on auto pilot. That's what I saw this week at Sheffield and Manchester, and to a lesser extent at Newcastle. Sure everyone wants their 25 to be well spent, but Van Morrison took care of that. I'm not a great fan of his, but ..............
Subject: Re:English shows From: David Reid ( Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 18:34:49 +0000 Replying to David Lindsey's comments on the English shows I must say that I cannot disagree with what he has to say and my reviews imply the comments that David has made rather than bring them up in themselves. I certainly would have prefared a Bob set of the 17 song variety such as given for the non-Van shows. But as everyone I was with enjoyed themselves so much and the event was somewhat different from a straight Bob show I had to smile too. It was good to see my step-son, my wife and my three friends [non-Bob afficianados] all come away from Manchester happy and smiling. Bob and the band can do that, be entertainers and all - that is in there in Bob's ethos as well as all the serious stuff. Sure, like David, I hoped for a totally different show too. But as much as I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Van [and he did perform a song I really wanted to hear - Mr Thomas] so I was surprised by Bob being so together. Yes, I prefared the opening five songs at Sheffield and Manchester, and the acoustic set is too long given the choice of songs, and once the band is driving down H61 then, in one sense, the show is over - you know you are not going to get anything rare. But what the hell you, have to go with it, after all he his our man and he is still keeping us on the edge. Somewhat conventional sets perhaps, but, as ever, on each of the two nights I witnessed, there were some sparking moments.... David Reid

June 1998 Setlists Tour